Abiding Grace: Finding Joy in the Slow Pace of Life

It rained the previous night.  The soil is still wet.

After getting our boy readying up for school, I walked him to catch his school bus.  There we waited for the school bus to arrive.

A snail, we noticed, was crawling at its normal pace nearby us.  My son wanted to help the snail reached the shade of another tree, to which the slow crawler seems to be heading.

Snail crawling in wet soil
A Snail; in its slow pace of life

He insisted on helping.  But I let him understand, the possible harm we might caused to the creature, by touching it.  The mollusk soft body might get tweaked.  It might die as well.  So we wait and watch, letting the snail enjoyed his outing till it rested.

Sometimes, our journey of life gets slowed than the normal pace.  The cause varied from person to person.  Yet all the situations are either beneficial or tormentingly boring.  Nothing exciting seems to be happening.  Yet, in every pace of life, His abiding grace abided with us.

My illness; the subsequent surgeries and the recovery process, instantly slowed my pace of life too.  There are few things to get taken care of.  For some period, there are certain activities I should abstain from, if possible, including playing with my children as well driving.

In a world moving at a very fast pace, several things are being missed.  It makes one realized more of the gift of life.  It gives a good time for communion with my God.  We can be misunderstood, sometimes, and that is natural.  Although there are depressing times, blessed times are in abundant.

When we are unable to perform few daily activities, it gives a sense of displeasure.  Yet it is a good time to catch up, what has been missed, in our hurried life.  In our hurried life, we don’t have time to spend with our family, time to meditate on God’s word, time to count our blessings,  time to recall the goodness of people around us,  time to appreciate the work of our spouse, time to give thanks to God stemming out from the heart, and many more.

This kind of slower pace of life cannot be bought.  Yet it isn’t easy, and we simply couldn’t, escape on our own.  The snail cannot turn into a racer in real life.  Only in its animated characters did it turn a racer – Turbo movie.  Since my son saw it racing, he was wondering about this particular snail.  In his age, we might wonder it too.

For the snail, it is his life.  There is life even in that pace.  All paces of life are given by our God and He knows the uses.  Yet, many times, it is difficult and boring if we missed the joyous part.  For some, it might not get faster in our lifetime.  And for some, it might just be a phase.

Being immobile, to the extent we don’t wanted to, in the very much mobile world could be depressing.  The Devil might try to create space in our mind.  Some of us longed to see the outside world; to breathe untreated fresh air.  It isn’t easy to get confined even in a comfortable place.  Confining, in a hospital room and the tiny cells of prison, breaks the heart without realizing God’s abiding grace.

None will be left alone, or as an orphan.  God will give us a Helper. He will abide with us. (John 14:16)  His grace is abiding till the end of time.  In our darkest time only He can stay with us.  A ray of hope, for the hopeless, in the fading world.

Live through the slow pace of life.  There is, and there could be joy, in every pace of life by emptying ourselves to be filled in His abiding grace.

 

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Abiding Grace: The Joy of Letting Go

Our thought-process, sometimes, is beyond our control.  Our innate being has been blessed with great diversity, which altogether made up a sane being.  God’s abiding grace makes the necessary adjustments in our life.

Memories formed an important part of our living.  Memories help us retain good and bad things we came across.  We cannot simply let go of anything on our own nor can we retain memories on our own.  It seems so normal but it is not.

Another word for letting it go might be forgiveness.  Forgiveness comes from the Lord.  When we can forgive and forget, we find inner peace.  We can achieve it by being in the Lord.  The power of forgiveness works wonder in every life.

Forgetfulness, or being forgetful, is another thing which might hamper our living.  But in its normal tempo, we find rest and get a good night sleep.  Imagine your thinking process did not stop before going to sleep, it would be, and is, very tiresome.  In this context, we must be thankful to God for being forgetful.

As a normal human being, I hope, we have certain occurrence which we don’t want to let go.  It might be hurtful to us yet we don’t want to let go either.  Since all our ventures or adventures in the journey of life cannot yield good results, this kind of things happened.

Even after we have learned lessons from previous mistakes, it can still come to haunt us.  However, by being covered up in His abiding grace, we can lessen the aftereffects.   Letting it go helps us living past our dark period of life.

It is true that one can never preplan our journey of life in its minute details.  Sometimes the ‘very much’ unexpected person or occurrence, outside of our normal life, can still hurt us at the least expected time and place.  Still, this is life and we should be able to filter it and try letting it go.

Letting it Go
Letting Go

In our completely broken state, most of life’s lessons are best learned.  Let me interrupt you here: I am not saying that I’m a learned person.  Should you be saying, you’re living in your perfect world, I must agree with you too.  It is because you possess that power of letting it go under His abiding grace.

Ostensibly, the hardest part in life is letting it go of the memories of love ones who are gone way too soon.  Although they are gone, we tend to cherished them in our minds.  It is a good thing to remember them, yet it might lead to bitterness in living.  Take it all to the Lord; all will be fine in His abiding grace.  However, it should be noted that no human mind could fully understand the Lord’s way.

Try letting go without hurting them back, if someone hurts you.  Hurting back benefits none.  And it simply let our lives miserable.  By not hurting back, we seem to be a loser, but in reality, it benefitted us.  It is more closure to Christ-likeness also.

It gives us insurmountable pain, to not let go of something, which was already gone.  it also applies to something that wanted to go, yet we still want to keep it.  If it is difficult, ask God for help.  It is the most difficult part of life, especially, if it happens before we get ready.

There is power in letting go of certain bitter memories.  It can give us tremendous joy – the joy of living or the joy of letting it go.

Let me end herewith the greatest joy of letting it go:

Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins.  To one who is willing to accept that He forgives and forget his sins.  He took away our past sinful life.  We became a new creation in Him.  He let go of our, any amount of, previous transgressions!

This is the greatest Joy of Living we are bestowed through God’s abiding grace!

 

Please feel free to pour in your thoughts in the comment box.

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Feeling Pain

Pain is, undeniably, one of the gifts of life.  It is beneficial to our existence.  Yet it also leads to unpleasant living conditions.

Pain is a four letter word, however, with vast contents.  All types of pain can not be discussed in detail here.  Very broadly speaking, it can be categorized into two:

One, physical pain – caused by injury, illness, and the likes.  Two, mental or emotional pain, which might be caused by sufferings, torments, depression, and many more.

Here we will be talking more about physical pain.  It is because of God’s abiding grace that we can recover from all types of pain.  And that too, in its different ways, according to the type of pain.

As mentioned before, (in my previous posts) I had the privilege of visiting hospitals several times due to my illness.  Those visits were followed by few tests in the diagnostic centers.  One, very simple, pain was the needle prick for drawing samples, which was needed for testing.

Another time, I’d also witnessed, me rushing to Emergency Block of hospitals either in my conscious or unconscious state.  When one becomes unconscious, one does not feel any type of pain.  As long as we didn’t wake up, we cannot feel the pain, which is not a normal occurrence for one who’s still alive.

So, here we can call pain a blessing.  And, to be able, to feel the pain is a greater joy.  It is a sign of us being alive!  Many of the pain we met in our daily walk of life do not need treatment.  Does it simply come and go by itself?  Do you know who heal all those pains?  I did.

When one became unconscious, one can hardly feel the pain.  Again, when we began to recover from unconscious state, we are back into the process of recovering.  We can feel painful due to the abiding grace bestowed upon us.

A still from VEEG
Pain

More importantly, when we can tell the doctors the type of pain we are suffering or identify the exact location in our body, it helps in diagnosing the cause, which could become an important step for starting treatment.

Some of the pain did not get healed, even after all possible treatment.  There is a purpose behind it too.  Some might be blessed to know the reason behind it while some might not be.  There is an upside to everything.

Almost the same goes with emotional pain.  In simple terms, we can suffer emotional pain because we are still alive.  Sometimes we hurt another person and sometimes people hurt us, those are normal.  Yet, it is very difficult to bear emotional pain.

Emotional pain is hard to cure but it can be cured.  Those of us who are blessed with good people around can easily get rid of the pain.  Moreover, this pain can be bear together with few selective people unlike physical pain.  Let me leave it for you to decide, which one is more severe.

A good listener, even without an advice, can help cure emotional pain apart from the trained counselors.  Moreover, reminding ourselves of His abiding grace, which is sufficient and free for all, help us in recovering from emotional pain.

It might not be wrong to say, ‘Thank you, dear God. For, I could feel the pain!’  It depends on the individual and in our approach to life.  I am also one among those people to live with pain, almost every day.

Yes and I also agree, we cannot downplay the fact that all types of pain are very hard to bear at that particular moment or time.  Yet, with God everything is possible!

Again, let us be thankful.  A thankful heart is worth a million!

 

Please feel free to comment or add something about your thoughts.

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Experiencing Hallucination

In my journey of life, several times, I’d experienced hallucinations due to health related problems.

Those series are not my cherished moments yet it is worth recalling in counting God’s abiding grace.  In some ways, it is beneficial to me, in the walk of life.

Hallucination may mean, a state of mind or experience involving apparent perception which is not realSynonyms of hallucination are illusion, delusion, mirage, delirium, and many more.

Let me share you just one instance of the experience:

We were dealing with finance and accounting jobs in the office during those days.  In the middle of the day, we can be very busy with our work usurping our mind and energy.  The stage was set for my hallucination, and I never knew that.

Being in the capital city of India, Hindi and English are the spoken language, although Hindi edge over English here.  At an instance, it suddenly seems that all the persons near me are speaking in one tongue.  That too, my native language (mother tongue) and the likes, which was spoken in my hometown some thousand miles away!

This time my vision was not blurred, as I feel it.  It’s just that the language spoken or what I heard that makes the difference.  Hallucinating, in some ways, the experiences one had gone through can be dissimilar.

The situation was uncontrollable and I seemed to enjoy the atmosphere, as I did not know that I was hallucinating.  It was beyond what one could do something.

Still, I was busy working in my computer when it stop happening.  Workplace colleagues helped me get home that day.

Several wrong financial transactions were made by me in that short span of time.  But then, God’s abiding grace is sufficient for me as there was no such transaction, which cannot be rectified.  The occurrence helped me realized the so many good sides of my colleagues.


These few problems showed more of the goodness of my friends.  Many times, they sent me home or helped me out.

Blurred picture hallucinated pic
Unclear Perception

More importantly, it is a huge privilege to be able to wake up from hallucinating.  There is very less or almost nothing one could do when it really happens.  It is because of God’s abiding grace only, that we could be living.  That’s one among the joys of living.

It gives me joy to be alive and tell the tales of my mild sufferings till now.  Yet I am more thankful for everything that we have experienced.

But one thing, in our semi-conscious state, sometimes we tend to utter things which are less valuable.  So, dear readers, enjoy the joy of living life to its fullest extent while you can.

And, always remember, you might be more blessed, than some of us, to not have gone through sufferings which might hamper your being.  Be happy and stay blessed.

Since His grace is abiding and/or enduring, God knows what is best for us!  Yet it is difficult to say that all the time.

Altogether, it constituted, what is called, the Joy of Living!

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Companionship

In moments of sadness and happiness, we always need someone’s company to be with us.

‘Companion’ in its verb form could be ‘accompany’ with whom one spends lots of time with or travel with.    Synonyms of ‘companionship’ are friendship, acquaintance, togetherness, and many more.

Birds sitting and playing on a tree
The Joy of Companionship

We do know that God is always with us.  His abiding grace is sufficient.  But many times, we cannot feel His companion right away.  To feel it, first, we need to empty ourselves and give Him, His much deserved, space.  Surely, He will make us whole again.

Let me share you part of my journal entry.


June 14, 2017 1400 HOURS

As usual, some unwanted occurrence visited me.  This time, it’s a bit harder.  But I try to let it pass as soon as possible.  It might be due to the change in weather condition, I guess, as it happened before.

We were at home with my two little children.  I let them know of my situation and that God’s abiding grace will be with us.

I kneel down to pray sliding on our bed.  My eyes got a bit blurry but I was fine.  My little ones did not want to disturb me.

They came, and as we pray, I hold them in my arms – one on my left and the other on my right.  I told them to put their holy hands on my head and pray for me too.  And they did!

“Heal my daddy’s head inside-out.  Please give daddy longevity.  That, we will live together for a long time.  We love him very much!”

On hearing their prayer, it gives me new strength and I was filled with tears of happiness.  It gives me strength to carry on.

Then I resume my prayer and thank God for everything.  His companionship came in the form of my own children today!  I am really hopeful that my God would consider their request.


We cannot, always, have the same strength as yesterday’s.  It might be due to different reasons.  Small things, for some other persons, can still let us down.  As long as we are breathing, it will exist.

When we were discouraged and disturbed, we want companion, at least.   But, if you’re like me, we don’t want to let loose our mind and everything either.

Today, in what form do you get your companion – that, I did not know.  However, our heavenly father is and was so kind to be with us.  It is just that we don’t have time to realize His presence.

It reminded me of how Elisha was prompted to ask God to open the eyes of his servant to see ‘the invisibles’!  (Read 2 Kings 6: 14-17)

In moments of loneliness and helplessness, several times, we wanted to see ‘the invisibles’, if you’re like me.  For a person who easily gets disturbed because of the long-suffering and not living the dream, we wanted to feel His presence, His abiding companionship, every day and every hour.

For the wandering mind, the companionship of someone is most needed.  For the insecure at heart, it gives relief with someone’s mere companion.  That is one among the JOY of living with an abiding grace.

Do not fear. He will keep you safe and sound, in His companionship.

 

Please feel free to comment or write your thoughts.

Abiding Grace: The Joy of Sleeping

It was well past midnight.  I close my eyes but I did not sleep.

I am in my thirties, not old as yet.  My normal body functioning has changed, some years ago.

Just one mistake, I did not take my medicine in time.

My body needs rest.  My mind needs rest.  And the pain will ease.  If I didn’t get enough sleep, more serious problem might follow.  I was, already, warned about the possible consequences during my hospital stay, and I knew that too.

When we were young and healthy, sleepiness comes too soon – even before we were ready!  I wanted to read more but felt too sleepy to go on.  Before I knew it, it was morning!

When morning comes, I woke up fresh – hale, and hearty because of the good night’s sleep – rested well.  Get ready for the day’s work humming music with a huge smile.

Yet, when I thank God for the goodnight sleep, I tend to rush through it.  I hardly pause for a moment to let my heart be filled with joy from up above.  The happiness was priceless.   God’s abiding grace, which was bestowed upon me, I hardly gave sincere thought.

The night in my bed, turning from side-to-side, I’d battled for sleep and rest.  It was not as easy as it seems.  It was a gift from God.  When I can’t sleep in time, the night seems to be a long dark period of life.  One night feels like a year of drought where everyone is deprived of good harvest, which would eventually led to unrest.

But still, in those sleepless nights, when I can sense the Lord’s presence; my heart rested.  However, the body witnessed strain eyes and sleep-deprived body ache.  The Lord gives sleep to His beloved.  Sleep gives us rest!

Medicine-induced sleep is tiresome and non-enjoyable.  Several times I’d experienced it.  More than that, sedation is hard to bear when you wake up.  I have been through it, and I could say, I knew it.  The one gifted by God is all special more than we know.

To sleep and be able to wake up again is the greatest gift of all.  It signifies the superiority of the living God.  The day will come when we won’t wake up again.

I lay down and when I woke up the Lord is still with me.  When I won’t wake up again, that day, I’ll be with my Savior!

sleeping peacefully
sleeping peacefully

Once again, sleep is a wonderful gift we get from God.  And to wake up again is even more beautiful.  It is because of His abiding or enduring grace, which cannot be bought.

God’s abiding grace is sufficient for all, especially to His children in Christ.  His grace is priceless!

Let us be thankful!

 

Please fell free to add your comments, experiences, and thoughts.